Showcase: Adeptus Mechanicus by Hortwerth

| 27. September 2012

In this new edition of “showcase”, 40kings brings you a detailed description of the working process that led to the creation of the infamous “Adeptus Mechanicus” army by Hortwerth, a skilled and creative painter based in Poland. He works for the well known Microarts Studios but also offers his services as commission painter to everyone interested in high-quality paintjobs.

The Adeptus Mechanicus itself has been first sighted at the ETC in Poland 2007 and has ever sinced been an eye catcher at national and international tournaments. Learn more about is creation in this step-by-step article by Hortwerth. This army is just sick:


My Adeptus Mechanicus army creation was quite a lengthy and „living” process.

I started out back in 2006 with a basic idea to finally follow my craving to have an Imperial Guard army with Adeptus Mechanicus backup. My first Adeptus Mechanicus units were two squads of Skiitarii who were to be used as Veterans, conversions based on Bretonnia Men-at-arms.

Then I gradually added tanks and units painted to look like they could serve Adeptus Mechanicus during an exploratory expedition.


In the end I had an Adeptus Mechanicus Exploratory Force, roving the galaxy in search of the fabled STC.


The Technomagii were mostly self-sculpted; I grew more and more fond of their look and started to wonder if I could sculpt myself similar rank-and-file models. During the next year I decided I want to follow more John Blanche’s vision of Mechanicus; slender, inhuman looking creatures with lenses glowing from under the hoods. With this image in mind I set about to sculpting my first Hattiphnatti as I call them (cause they’re similar to the hattifnater creatures from the Moomins):

So I sculpted myself 5 only slightly differing troopers, a tracked chassis I could use for a heavy weapon or heavy trooper mount:

In the end I used the models mounted on tracks as Rough Riders:

I was redoing all the infantry before a tournament; I think it took me 2 weeks (so 10 working days; 80 hours) to cast, assemble, and paint 70 infantry models. (holy shit…)

I only needed to make my tanks a bit more special… I read about the Knight Titans, the smallest walking superheavy machines, and their extensive use on the plains of Mars. Then I found several threads on Warseer (or Portent as it was called back then) of people trying to build these machines using a Defiler kit and a Sentinel cabin – sort of like this:

I didn’t like the cabin at the front and I wanted to go into more robotic feel with my machines. In the end I finished with something looking like this:

And it turns out that there are enough parts leftover from teh Defiler kit to build one of these too:

These were originally my Hellhounds, while the Knigh Titan lookalikes I used as Leman Russes. I had a total of 3 of each made in the end:

And I finally got a suitably striking look on the battlefield.

Mind you, these were the times of 4th Edition, where forests and ruined buildings were sky-high and impenetrable for sight, therefore the actual height of the models wasn’t really an issue!

Then, with a crushing force, came the 5th edition, and all came crushing to the ground! The titans were nigh impossible to play with sensibly, as the forests and ruins were suddenly all see-through, and even if I found an opponent kind enough to ignore the wildly different weapon mounts and height, I constantly felt like I should carry around a „normal” Leman Russ for LoS purposes. It was killing the fun in gaming with the army.

So after a few months I had to abandon the visuals if I were to ever have joy with playing with this army again. The Knight Titans became 4-legged Lumbering Behemots, and Hellhounds lost weight:

One of the new Hellhounds (each made of a ton of Sentinels) had teh joy of carrying a missle rack on it’s back, turning it into the very handy Manticore:

Overall, the army changed the look into this:

I even experimented with the Witchhunters codex, using SoBs as the heavier armoured Skiitarii (and a winged Technomagos was of course the Canoness):

Now all my vehicles were growing more and more legs left and right and only my Chimeras were lagging behind. I wanted to embrace the multilegged crawling vehicles as a theme, so I had to do something about it. This was the most engaging and most difficult project to date. I designed the Stalker APC. I drew parts in CAD and had them laser-cut, then I glued them together, sanded, sculpted, sanded again… After 2 months design process I had moulds of the parts made and I casted in resin my first Stalker!

Soon I had made myself 6 of these (as I was always struggling with having too little Chimeras):

I also revisited infantry sculpts I started way back before I pursued the hattiphnatti look and finally finished second type of infantry, who now serve me as my Veterans (Skiitarii) while the Hattiphnatti serve as the IG infantry squads.


So this is the current state of my Adeptus Mechanicus army I use as an Imperial Guard counts-ass:

I most often ran lists similar to this:

Adeptus Mechanicus – IG army 1500 pts



Command Squad: 4xmelta =  90
Chimera: multilaser, heavy flamer = 55



Veterans, 3xflamer, shotguns, power fist = 100
Chimera: multilaser, heavy flamer = 55
Veterans, 3xplasma = 115
Chimera: multilaser, heavy flamer = 55
Veterans, 3xplasma = 115
Chimera: multilaser, heavy flamer = 55


Veterans, Autocannon = 80

Fast Attack:

Banewolf, heavy flamer, smoke, extra armour  = 150

Heavy Support:


Demolisher, plasma sponsons, extra armour , lascannon = 235


Demolisher, plasma sponsons, extra armour , lascannon = 235


Manticore, heavy flamer = 160

Total: 1500
Models: 52

This army has one problem now: weight. Most of the models are resin or white metal. All the bases are resin. A 1800 points army in a protective suitcase weighs 14kgs!

I haven’t played this army in 6th edition yet, but I assume I’ll need to finally bring myself to assembling these Vendettas I have lying in boxes for the last 3 years.

As all the models are finished and I don’t currently add anything to this army, I have no step-by-step conversions or painting at this time; when I revisit and update teh army, I’ll try to take work in progress pictures of the process. All I have now is a step-by step of painting a cogs freehand design:

All in all the army had three incarnations and took me good chunks of 4 or 5 years to get to the current stage.


That army must have been a nasty load of work. Please remind yourself that most of it is self-sculpted. A LOT more pictures can be found his hortwerth’s Gallery for the Adeptus Mechanicus…Be sure to check out Hortwerth and more of his work on his website! Some Berlin-based 40k players have already commissioned paintjobs with him and we are more than pleased with the quality.

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Rating: 8.8/10 (29 votes cast)
Showcase: Adeptus Mechanicus by Hortwerth, 8.8 out of 10 based on 29 ratings

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Category: Malen und Basteln

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Comments (8)

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  1. Xanxis says:

    Dafür gibt es nur ein Wort: PORNO!

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    Rating: 5.0/5 (1 vote cast)
  2. Creezy says:

    Fantastisch! Da fehlen einem echt die Worte.

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    Rating: 4.7/5 (3 votes cast)
  3. Bushwick says:

    ganz nett!


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    Rating: 1.7/5 (6 votes cast)
  4. MOGLORD says:

    Der Hammer !!!
    Fantastic !!

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    Rating: 5.0/5 (4 votes cast)
  5. Truth says:


    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: 5.0/5 (5 votes cast)
    • TSL says:

      “Truth” says “Incredible!”.

      –> incredible true.

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      Rating: 4.2/5 (5 votes cast)